Roof Crawl: Stefano Ghisolfi Spiders 5.15b ‘L’Arenauta’

Released on March 10, 2022, this unadulterated video documents the first ascent of a 20-year-old route in coastal Italy by one of the best climbers of all time.

When Stefano Ghisolfi calls a climb “the hardest route of central Italy,” take his word for it. The 29-year-old Olympic medalist’s 5.15+ tick list is second only to that of Adam Ondra. And as a native Italian, he has probably sampled more of the country’s climbing than any of his contemporaries.

The route in question is “L’Arenauta” (5.15b/9b), a mostly horizontal limestone line that crawls up and across the roof of Grotta dell’Arenauta cave. Bolted more than two decades ago by Giuliano Taruini, “L’Arenauta” stood without a first ascent until Ghisolfi’s redpoint go on Feb. 8, 2022.

Ghisolfi climbs new 5.15b_9a sport route Feb. 24 2022 (photo S Grippo)
(Still/S. Grippo)

“This pitch, bolted 20 years ago, finally is a free climb. It finally has a name,” Ghisolfi said after nabbing the first ascent. “I hope there will be repetitions soon. I’m looking forward to other people [feeling] the same emotions I felt.”

If the grade is confirmed, “L’Arenauta” will be the first 5.15b/9b sport climb in central and southern Italy.

Runtime: 10 minutes

Bonus: If you’d like to dig a little deeper, check out “L’Arenauta, a 20 years old project,” the 27th episode of Ghisolfi’s YouTube series “The Climbing Diaries.”

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Jilli Cluff
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Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.

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